One-Way Portals in Amn
By Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel
The Dusty Rat
Some put portals to profitable use. Baldy Spryth, the owner of the Dusty Rat bar in Athkatla, Amn, found that his cellar had a one-way portal. To find out where it went, he hired a reputable wizard and a fighter to go through it. To his surprise, the pair went through the portal, but all their items remained behind. He waited a year with the adventurers' gear, but no one ever heard from the team again.
Definitely one to recognize a good opportunity, Baldy realized that this could be a great scam. Baldy subtly spread the word that he had a portal to some other dimension that he would let folk through for a price. This information is available with a Gather Information or Knowledge (local) check (DC 20). Less well known (DC 25) is the fact that he occasionally fences magic items and gear (obtained from the portal travelers). The most obscure information involves his dealings with the city's assassin's guild and his removal of bodies for them (DC 30).
Baldy interviews potential clients. He'll let only individuals or very small groups go through (those that can all fit through the 10-foot by 10-foot portal simultaneously) to ensure that the secret of the creature-only portal remains.
Baldy was savvy enough to realize another use for this portal from which no one seems to have returned. He uses it to dispose of dead bodies and incriminating evidence. He has Destiny cast animate dead and has the undead creature tote whatever Baldy wants to get rid of through the portal.
In these ways, Baldy grew powerful and accumulated a great deal of wealth as well as a pair of trusted associates: Scales, a human bouncer that claims (falsely) that he is a quarter-dragon, and Destiny, a human cleric of Fharlanghn.
None of them know where the portal leads. They don't care, as long as it continues to be a source of such fine revenue. None of those who went through it seems to have survived.
The Dusty Rat Staff (EL 10)
Baldy Spryth: Male human Rog7; CR 7; Medium-size humanoid; HD 7d6-7; hp 18; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 15; Atk +7 melee (1d6+2/19-20, +1 short sword); SA Sneak attack +4d6; SQ Evasion, traps, uncanny dodge (Dex bonus to AC, can't be flanked); AL NE; SV Fort +1, Ref +7, Will +3; Str 12, Dex 15, Con 8, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Appraise +12, Bluff +16, Decipher Script +7, Diplomacy +2, Disguise +5, Escape Artist +8, Gather Information +10, Hide +21, Intimidate +12, Listen +13, Move Silently +12, Search +12, Spot +13; Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility.
Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, Baldy takes no damage with a successful saving throw.
Possessions: +1 shadow leather armor, +1 short sword, potion of alter self, potion of glibness.
Scales: Male human Ftr7; CR 7; Medium-size humanoid; HD 7d10+14; hp 52; Init +1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 16; Atk +11/+6 melee (2d4+6, +1 spiked chain); Face/Reach 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with spiked chain); AL NE; SV Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +1; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +6, Climb +7, Diplomacy +3, Intimidate +3, Jump +7, Listen +2, Spot +2; Alertness, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), Great Cleave, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (spiked chain), Weapon Specialization (spiked chain).
Possessions: +2 scale mail armor, +1 spiked chain, potion of cure moderate wounds (2).
Destiny: Female human Clr7; CR 7; Medium-size humanoid; HD 7d8+14; hp 45; Init +1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22; Atk +5 melee (1d8, +1 heavy mace); SA Rebuke undead 7/day; AL NE; SV Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +11; Str 8, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +5, Concentration +12, Diplomacy +2, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (local) +3, Knowledge (religion) +7, Spellcraft +11; Combat Casting, Extra Turning, Iron Will, Spell Penetration.
Cleric Spells Prepared (6/6/5/4/2; base DC = 13 + spell level): 0 -- create water, cure minor wounds, detect magic, detect poison, light, read magic; 1st -- bless, cause fear, cure light wounds (2), expeditious retreat*, sanctuary; 2nd -- augury, cure moderate wounds, hold person, locate object*, silence; 3rd -- animate dead, blindness/deafness, cure serious wounds, fly*; 4th -- dimension door*, summon monster IV.
*Domain spell. Deity: Fharlanghn. Domains: Luck (good fortune 1/day), Travel (freedom of movement).
Possessions: +1 full plate armor, +1 large steel shield, +1 heavy mace, cloak of resistance (+1).
How to Incorporate the Dusty Rat Portal Into Your Campaign
- The PCs might need to get out of town fast, and they can learn of this particular portal.
- Perhaps a spate of missing persons comes to the attention of the PCs. When they investigate, will they come across Baldy's portal and his method of ridding the area of incriminating bodies?